Happy, colourful birthday!

Plastic pellets in all possible colours and functions:
What the Masterbatch Verband and its members are all about.

The Masterbatch Verband is celebrating its 20th anniversary – a real spring chicken for an industry association. The “invention” around which the industry revolves, however, is a good deal older: Masterbatches have been making the world more colourful for about 50 years. At the end of the 1960s, the middle of the boom years of the fledgling plastics industry, the first German companies began to produce granular colour concentrates, so-called masterbatches.

These became ever more common in the 70s, manufactured by nearly every medium-sized company already producing lacquers and paints. Others specialised from the outset in granular concentrates, which were marketed as a convenient colouring solution. Today, masterbatches are an integral part of the plastics processing industry. They enable producers of plastic products to colour their raw materials economically and highly individually and to achieve properties such as UV stability using functional additives. Masterbatchers tailor the colour or function concentrate to the needs of every single customer – from producers of cosmetic packaging to automobile manufacturers. Originally, the industry consisted of individual enterprises. The companies grew, improved their products and refined the technology and processes. They all initially concentrated on securing “their piece of the pie” in the market – there was no cooperation. A starting point for identifying and tackling common challenges? Or common representation for customer industries and regulatory agencies? Non-existent.

Cooperation is extremely valuable in many areas, for instance, the development of training courses for professions typical of masterbatch producers. Further, the legal challenges arising from issues such as product safety and traceability as well as German chemicals regulations, particularly the EU chemicals regulation “REACH,” are all better tackled together. The number of masterbatch manufacturers to recognise this grew and in 1998 the big moment came: 13 well-established masterbatch manufacturers decided to come together. Some of these companies had already been organised for years as members of the Verband der Mineralfarbenindustrie VdMi. The “Masterbatchers” became affiliated and the Masterbatch Verband was officially formed.

Happy, Colourful Birthday!

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